It emerged in Bahrain that teams running low-rake cars – such as Aston Martin and Mercedes – appeared to be hurt more by the updated aerodynamic rules for 2021 than those with high-rake concepts.
The FIA moved to cut downforce and reduce speeds for 2021 on safety grounds, with much of this cut being achieved by changes to the regulations surrounding floor designs.
Aston Martin team principal Otmar Szafnauer revealed on Friday at Imola that he was pushing the FIA to consider making tweaks this year “to make it a bit more equitable” between teams running high- and low-rake car concepts.
But Horner – whose Red Bull team races with a high-rake car concept – said he was “slightly surprised” to hear how strong Szafnauer’s opposition was after just a single race.
“We had a sample of one, that Mercedes won that race with what we classify a low-rake car,” Horner said on Sky Sports F1.
“They had absolutely equal, if not maybe better, tyre degradation than we had in Bahrain. They’ve looked mighty impressive here and we’ve only run at one circuit so far.
“But ignoring all of that, there is a process for regulations to be introduced and they were voted through unanimously through the different regulations.
“Aston Martin or Racing Point would have had to vote for before being passed through the Formula 1 Commission and the World Council. They were all voted through unanimously.
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21
Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
“When there was a front wing change a few years ago it really hurt us. We voted against it, but you just have to accept it.
“It seems a little naive to think that suddenly the rules are going to get changed after the sample of a single race after the process has been fully followed.
“I’m struggling to get my head around that.”
The fashion in which the aerodynamic cuts hit Mercedes and played toward Red Bull has created a closer fight at the front of the pack in the early part of the 2021 season.
Horner said that seeing the top teams get slowed down was “the nature of the game” in F1, and something that had to be accepted.
“Whether it was blown diffusers, double diffusers, flexing wings, non-flexing wings, F-ducts, front wing regulations as I mentioned just a couple of years ago – it’s part of Formula 1,” Horner said.
“Regulations evolve and change and you’ve got to swing with those punches and that is F1.
“We’ve got a big regulation change for next year, but the teams have known that. That’s been part of the sport for many, many years.”